Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium logo

 July 12-16, 2023

"This place will change your life"




Jeff Adler kayak coach at great lakes sea kayak symposium


Jeff Adler


Paddling Bio

I have been kayaking since 1998 and this will be my 5th year instructing.  I find the greatest thrill in coaching is helping paddlers of all levels improve their skills.  There is no better feeling than seeing the smiles that happen when a student obtains a skill that they have been trying to master.  Knowing that I’ve now been able to make their paddling experience more fun and enjoyable and most importantly, more safe, is the greatest reward of being an instructor.  Being a newer instructor, I still have fresh in my memory the feeling of being challenged and then having someone be there for me to help me to move to the next level.  I keep this in mind every time I’m on the water.  My goal is to be able to make that difference for every person I coach.  Wether the step is small or large, I remember that it is the paddlers’ needs that guides the instruction.  I am grateful for every opportunity I have to coach, as I learn something from every encounter I have on the water!  I am an ACA Level 4 Open Water instructor and have ambitions to continue to advance and become an IT in the future.  Like those I coach, I am also always learning and advancing my skills.  I have been influenced by some great instructors and hope to pass on these skills to all of you.  I currently coach at the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium and the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium, as well as occasional lessons and assisting with occasional instructor development and certification.  As time allows and I scale back my other career, I plan on spending more time teaching.


ACA Level 4 Open Water Kayak Instructor

Who am I?

I am a Southern Californian at heart.  Born and raised in LA.  I moved to Chicago in 1992 to attend medical school and spent 8 years in the windy city, staying for residency.  I moved to Milwaukee in 2000 and have worked at St. Lukes ever since and hope to retire there.  I currently live in Sister Bay, WI, recently moving from Milwaukee.  I paddle mostly in the waters around Door County, WI as well as areas around Milwaukee.  I have 2 sons (13 y/o and 10 y/o).  My eldest has now taken up paddling and we enjoy time on the water together.  This year I will introduce the sport to my youngest.  My wife and kids love being in Door County full time.  I am still commuting to Milwaukee for work, we’ll see how long that lasts…

My GLSKS Story

This will be my 3rd year at GLSKS, both the symposium and Grand Maris, MI are very special!  The participants that come to this event are amazing.  They are fun, eager to learn and are part of an incredible community.  The instructors/coaches that come to the event are among the best.  They are dedicated to ensure y’all have a great time and you might not even be aware how much you learn in the process.  And as for the setting…  Grand Maris is awesome!  It has some of the most picturesque places to paddle (the Pictured Rocks, log slide, Au Sable Light) and the town makes you feel at home.  It is the community of the participants, coaches and this breathtaking place that make GLSKS special for me.  I hope to be invited back to coach each year as this makes my summer.  It is a magical place!

I hope to see you this year at GLSKS!